Posts from 2nd May 2001

May 01

The Year of the Rock – Rock ‘n’ roll’s 12-year itch.

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The Year of the Rock – Rock ‘n’ roll’s 12-year itch.: it’s idiocy time! I first heard about the cyclical theory of rock back in, what, 1997 or 1998. It gets quoted by critics who want a big ‘revolutionary’ scene handed to them on a plate and can’t be bothered to look at what’s actually happening in the charts and hearts of pop listeners.

Back then the idea was 67-77-87 (Beatles-punk-techno), but when nothing cool (enough) happened in ’97 the idea shifted to an eleven year cycle, 66-77-88 (same things). Again, though, ’99 wasn’t up to scratch for revolution rockists, so it’s back to the drawing board.

Those of course were UK theorisers. The big fly in the cyclical ointment is – which is more important, techno or grunge? US writers, like this fellow, plump for grunge and so the 12-year cycle is born, however tongue-in-cheek it is.

The ideas don’t work because they leave too much out – where are doo-wop, girl groups, Beatles ’64, the mid-60s soul explosion, progressive rock, conscious soul, hip-hop, reggae and rave, ’84 stadium pop and gangsta rap in this argument? They also, as I never tire of saying, show up the lazy bankruptcy of a certain strand of music journalism, hobbled now for seven years by its dewy-eyed chasing of a new Kurt to blow all the crap away. For pity’s sake, let it go and start living!

Beyoncé Good and Evil

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Beyoncé Good and Evil: Jessica Winter reviews the new Destiny’s Child album. Back-and-forthing on the forum casts this piece as a demolition, whether justified or not, but reading it, it just seems like sharp, smart criticism. Not all positive, but so what? I’d rather have intelligent pop writing which takes an artist’s flaws into account than froth, or none at all.